Adopting Contract Management Best Practices
If you are following this series of blogs, you know we have already discussed the current state of contract management, with implementation numbers still much lower than we’d like to see, and highlighted some of the benefits of implementing a contract management solution. Armed with this information you may be looking to commit to a solution. But before you choose a vendor, consider these four contract management adoption best practices to ensure you find the right fit for your business. You will be spending a lot of valuable time and entrusting your provider with sensitive material, but considering the following prior to committing will help you find the right fit.
1. Expedite Onboarding and Ensure Accuracy
If you are moving from a completely manual contract management process, the onboarding process may be time consuming and tedious to ensure all information is captured and transferred correctly. There are risks associated with this initial transfer, and it is important to ensure the solution provider is mindful of these risks and the importance of security and accuracy during onboarding. Once the system is set up and in place, the overall accuracy is greater and more secure, but the initial transfer period is vital. If a contract is transferred incorrectly from the start, it can impact all future business decisions. Look for a contract management solution provider who uses data entry, OCR data capture technology or a separate outsourced onboarding service to ensure accuracy. Don’t be afraid to ask about their onboarding accuracy percentages with previous clients.
2. Connectivity and Seamless Integration
As we discussed in the previous blog, one of the pain points organizations feel is how to improve and streamline the difficult processes between contract management and sourcing as well as other source-to-pay processes. When choosing a solution provider, be sure to evaluate their ability to integrate with source-to-settle functionality, including sourcing, supplier management, e-procurement, and accounts payable solutions. The right provider will allow you to easily convert procurement and sourcing documents into contracts, which saves time, plus increases efficiency and visibility.
3. Contract Management Solution Customization
One of the biggest benefits of selecting a contract management solution is the fact that you can tailor it to fit your business needs. When selecting a provider, ensure they will work with you to tailor the solution to your needs. An example is fitting documents to company specifications during the authoring process. Configure clause libraries based on business policies and industry standards, create templates for any required contract type, and customized approval workflows and system controls.
4. Focus on Legal Teams
Obviously, legal departments need to have the ability to leverage and control contract management solution. Choose a provider that understands this and provides special functionality just for legal department users. Often this additional functionally is built on top of the customization discussed above.